South Carolina Blog - College

"Under pressure."

The question was if there was any less goofing off and if there was more of a businesslike approach to practice, the day after South Carolina lost in the College World Series.

Christian Walker said no.

The Gamecocks know exactly what they're facing. They know it won't be easy to win three games in three days to get to their third straight national championship series.

But they're not hitting the brakes all of a sudden, just because of the loss, and changing their approach. That would make it 10 times worse.

USC wasn't flaunting the looseness, as it did a few days ago when Colby Holmes was riding around on a tricycle, but it wasn't denying the fun aspect of it, either. The Gamecocks are too familiar with how playing tight can wreck a team — they've seen it in the opposite dugout too many times.

They're still going to be themselves tonight when they play an elimination game, although they realize the gravity of the situation. It's win or go home, but USC knows that the reason it got to 22 straight postseason wins in the first place was by not concentrating on winning or losing, but trusting that the bounces would come its way.

Should be a fun one.

* Excellent time hanging out with some of the boys last night. Ran into some Kent State fans, two of whom used to play baseball for the Golden Flashes, and naturally they were tremendously excited. It's a 12-hour jaunt from Kent to Omaha, all on I-80, and they're having the kind of fun that you would expect from a newcomer's trip to the CWS. One of them said he played poker at one of the Council Bluff casinos until 9 a.m. before Kent State played its first game, and became dependent on 5-Hour Energy to get him through, but regretted nothing.

* I was surprised that Jordan Montgomery got the ball for tonight, after Ray Tanner's usual approach has been to win today and worry about tomorrow when it comes. He's playing for another game by sitting Michael Roth down and potentially bringing him back for Thursday, which could be interesting — Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said that he was leaning toward starting Randall Fant on Thursday, not D.J. Baxendale, which would be tremendously beneficial for the Gamecocks. While Fant has been good lately, his regular season was not good at all. He was a guy that would get through the order once, then completely fall apart.

But USC has to get to Thursday, and get to him, before it can start planning on that.

P.S. Bookmark this page. It's GamecockCentral's new blog!

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